Notes of Parish Meetings
Notes from the Parish Council Meeting - March 2009
The following were amongst items discussed at Parish Council meetings and information received by the Clerk. The full minutes may be found here.
1. Anti-Social Behaviour Meeting of 4th February 2009
This gathering at St Vincents Close Communal Lounge demonstrated the strength of feeling within the village about recent crime and in particular about a spate of crime that occurred in the locality of Orchard Close just before Christmas.
Many crimes were reported in last months Girton Parish News but reference was not made to an unpleasant sexual offence that occurred in the village. The offence did not amount to rape and is only mentioned now to allay rumours that a number of rapes have occurred within the village. No rapes have been reported in Girton.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, just under 60 residents, a large majority being senior citizens, crammed into the meeting to be assured that measures had been taken to prevent a repeat of such a spate of crime.
Some had suffered directly when their vehicles were damaged, some had windows in their homes broken and others were just fearful about what might happen within our quiet community.
Hosted by the Parish Council, representatives from South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, local PCSOs, the Fire Service, Bobby Scheme, and Neighbourhood Watch were available to answer questions.
It became apparent during the questioning that there was concern, especially amongst older residents, about the level of crime in the village and many poignant questions were asked of the panel. It was also noted that several crimes had not been reported to the police.
The resultant key messages from the meeting are:
1) report all crime to ensure that police allocate resources to the area.
2) areas to prevent "cold calling" can be set up if requested by residents provided that other criteria concerning crime also applies to the area in question.
3) support is available from many sources.
Did residents leave the meeting feeling reassured? Probably not but the success of the coffee morning was in allowing people to air their views, ask questions of experts and be assured that there was a two way exchange of information. The message was be watchful, take all available advice about your personal security and report anything suspicious. Look out for yourself and for your neighbour. Girton is a safe place to live and can be kept so by heeding advice given. Sources of advice are available from the Parish Office.
2. Proposals for very large clay borrow pits in Girton
The Parish Council has received an informal consultation from Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council about three possible clay borrow pits in Girton ranging in size from 16 to 20 hectares. Contractors working on the A14 improvement works wish these to be within easy access of the A14. Two are just to the north of the village on either side of the A14. The other one is planned for Grange Farm. This 20 hectare site is to the west of Gretton Court, and is likely to be obtrusive. Outline maps are available from the Parish Office. The Parish Council is closely monitoring the proposals and looking at environmental impact and future use. Further details on the propsed pits for the village (Nos 68/69/70) are available at: http://consult.peterborough.gov.uk or from Shire Hall (Tel: Cambridge 717630). Please make your views known. Deadline: 9th March 2009.
3. NIAB Development
The Planning Committee of the Parish Council has been considering amended plans for the NIAB housing development between Huntingdon Road and Histon Road. Representations have been made about changes to the height of housing. Latest plans show an increase to four storeys on the city boundary closest to Girton. Residents faced with the greatest visual impact are those who live in The Brambles and Thornton Close.
4. Town End Close - Girton's Nature Reserve
Visitors to our nature reserve will notice that work has been done to cut back much but not all of the overgrown brambles. Fencing is scheduled along the boundary next to Woody Green, as is grass cutting on the meadow. A water supply for cattle is being explored. Many thanks to the volunteers who have said they would be happy to assist the warden. Please contact the Parish Office if you would like to join this group. Plans are beginning to take shape to have guided tours of this unique and historic site which has ridge and furrows during the Feast Week this year led by our ecologist, Stephen Tomkins.
5. Annual Parish Meeting
This gathering of residents will be arranged at Girton Glebe School this May. This event which will be advertised in the GPN will be an opportunity to celebrate success, and raise concerns about developments within the village during the past year. Whilst there will be a short report from the Parish Council the focus this year will be on community groups who help to make Girton special.
6. Smithy Green
The Parish Council has plans to plant a hedge next the fence in autumn 2009 at Smithy Green to provide a pleasant green boundary to this grassed area. As part of the preparatory work several trees will be removed along the proposed line of the hedge.
7. Secretarial help sought and given
James Ford-Smith, the Chairman of our Environment Committee (& Vice Chairman of the Council) is very grateful for several offers of secretarial assistance he has received from members of the parish. Having readers for his letters, emails, and reports means a great deal, and will enable him to continue to contribute to the community.
Forthcoming Meeting. The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Wednesday 18th March 2009 at St Vincent's Close Community Centre. The meeting will begin at 7.30pm. Members of the parish are welcome to attend.